Digital footprints increase daily; speculation is that we generate about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. With that growth comes the increasing importance of data protection, not only from natural or man-made disasters but cybersecurity events and hackers as well. Disasters of any type can cripple or shut down businesses if adequate data protection solutions are not in place, but finding the right solution is a daunting task. Many organizations look to cloud services to provide the solution, but what are the data storage questions should you ask when evaluating them?
How often is my data backed up?
Your business requirements determine your backup schedule. Discuss types of backups (full, incremental, weekly, etc.) and factor these into the equation.
How do I recover lost data?
Generally, data recovery happens the same way it is backed up—via the Internet–allowing you to recover the data from any location. Some providers offer the ability to send physical devices with recovered data to your site.
Are there additional costs involved with recovering my data?
Providers may charge fees for recovering data, ranging from bandwidth utilization to human hours, especially for expedited requests.
What operating systems and environments do you support?
Organizations utilize a variety of hypervisors and operating systems, and support of these systems evolves constantly.
How secure is it?
What types of security measures are in place to protect your data from a breach, hacking, and viruses? Measures like encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help, and you should consider malware protection. You should also ask the provider about compliance policies, such as PCI or NIST 800-53 if you have compliance regulations relating to data storage.
How does my invoice/billing change with data growth and storage use?
Assume that your storage needs will grow and ask how that affects your cost. You do not want a hefty rate hike for a slight increase in data.
If I am backing up servers or virtual machines, can I recover these in the cloud environment in the event of a disaster?
Simple backups versus having the ability to perform disaster recovery is the difference between backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Be sure to specify the type of service you need.
You can likely come up with 7 more questions that are specific to your organization, but these are a great way to begin the process to finding the perfect provider for your company or organization. We’d be happy to go through these questions with you. Please contact us and we’ll start the conversation about how to best serve your business.
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